5 Ways to Improve your Writing Skills for IELTS.
“Good writing is clear thinking made visible.”
Writing is a difficult skill and not just for people learning English or appearing for the IELTS test, but for a native English speaker as well. A multitude of IELTS learners finds it difficult to score a good band in the writing module. In our day-to-day lives, we don’t often have to write essays or describe graphs.
We’re more used to writing text messages (that too with a lot of slang), or emails. But it’s a whole different game when it comes to writing in the IELTS test.
Let’s take a look at some tips, to improve your writing skills and score better!
Read a LOT.
- Yes, you read that right!
To improve your writing skills, you need to read – everyday! By reading widely, you’ll be introduced to a wide range of words and phrases that are used in a variety of contexts. You will also come across a lot of different grammar structures without actually having to focus on grammar. With a lot of reading, you will be able to learn new words and enhance your vocabulary. Note these new words down, so that you can remember them!
There are lots of freely available reading resources online. You can read about any topic you’re interested in as long as it’s in English!
- Understand the prompt
Whether you’re writing for the Academic or General Test, or you’re on Task 1 or Task 2, make sure you understand exactly what the prompt is asking you to do. If you are writing a letter, make sure you identify the register (formal or informal). If you are writing an opinion essay, make sure you can identify both sides of the issue. If you are describing graphs or processes, first identify what the graphs show, then identify the main trends and useful features to compare. Once you wrap your mind around the task, you can begin the outline for your paper.
- Create an outline
Before you start writing, make an outline. Students sometimes argue that because it is a timed test, they shouldn’t spend precious minutes making an outline. This is simply not true! An outline will save you time by keeping you focused as you write, so you don’t deviate from the topic. An outline will also help you organise your ideas and put them in the best order before you start writing. Most importantly, having a good outline means you can focus on the language you are using (vocabulary and sentence structure) rather than the ideas you will present.
- Focus on the language; not on the length
IELTS writing does not need to be long, although you do need to aim for the required word count (150 and 250 words). Task 2 essays need only have two strong body paragraphs, although three is certainly a plus if you can manage it. You score points for using complex sentence structure and strong vocabulary accurately and naturally.
Rather than worrying about the length of your essay, take the time to include interesting vocabulary and avoid repeating words. As you prepare for the IELTS exam, you should be working to build your vocabulary for a variety of topics. You will impress the reader by presenting clear, concise, and cohesive arguments, so this should be your focus while writing.
- Proofread! Proofread! Proofread!
Proofreading is the act of reading written work and marking any errors. These mistakes most commonly involve spelling, grammar, punctuation, and consistency.
This can be a challenge for timed tests, but it is essential to reserve a couple of minutes, after each writing task to proofread. You should look for small mistakes in spelling and grammar. This is not the time to decide that your argument is not effective and write a new paragraph (that’s what your outline is for!).
Read your essay and make sure that it is cohesive, and add sentences or phrases to make stronger connections between ideas if you need to.
At OSI, we’re committed to helping students score their best in their IELTS tests.
With certified language trainers, comprehensive study material, ultra-modern infrastructure and many more facilities, let’s get started on your study abroad journey.
ENROL NOW. Call 1800-8-902-209.